Saving Power to Save the Environment

Saving Power To Save The Environment

Methods To Make Your Railroad Tanker Car Easier To Clean

by Raul Bradley

By the time you need to clean the commercial tank on a railroad, tanker car, it is too late to have made one of the decisions that can make cleaning that tank more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. The best way to prepare for the eventual necessity of cleaning your rail car tank, both outside and inside, is to make sure that the surfaces are smooth and as resistant to collecting toxins as possible.

Methods to protect the tank's exterior

A commercial tank should be properly protected before it is put into use. Proper exterior tank protection can be done with a variety of mechanisms such as:

  • Using a water-borne coating instead of a solvent-borne coating. A water-borne coating is lower VOC so has less harmful emissions.
  • Covering the exterior with a direct-to-metal coating system. A direct-to-metal coat is low VOC and resistant to chemical spills.
  • Applying an epoxy-urethane system. The epoxy-urethane system reduces friction on the outside of the tank car, so less pressure is required when cleaning with a pressure washing system. The epoxy-urethane keeps dirt and chemicals from penetrating into the metal of the tank car, too.

Methods to protect the tank's interior

The interior of the tank should also be protected prior to putting it into use; you can also protect it after thoroughly cleaning the tank. Tank liners are effective in reducing the adhesion of chemicals and particulates to the interior lining. These tank linings often are comprised of epoxy products for the same reason that epoxy-urethane is used on the outside of the tank car. Examples of interior tank liners include:

  • High solid, epoxy immersion coatings; these coatings meet the low-emission VOC standards required by today's environmental regulations.
  • High solid, vinyl immersion coatings; these are very similar to the epoxy version except they don't meet many of the low VOC environmental requirements, especially for potable water storage.

If you are preparing a tanker car to be re-lined (i.e., it is not brand new), then you have to make sure it is done properly before applying the new coating. Proper surface preparation involves:

  • Grit blasting the interior walls of the tank. Grit blasting removes the old lining, a necessity since you don't want to apply new lining over old.
  • Preparing the interior for the new lining. Preparation involves a thin coat of the new lining to smoothly cover the tank welds. Once the thin layer has dried, the new coating can finally be applied.

Having the right interior and exterior coating is important to reduce the environmental impact of your rail cars, both in applying the coating and when cleaning the cars. If you have a lower friction coating, then it also cuts down on the time to clean your tanker car.

Contact a company like Steel View for more information and assistance. 


About Me

Saving Power To Save The Environment

Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by nature, which is one of the reasons I started focusing so heavily on pollution. I realized that if I wasn't careful, I could be a contributor to all kinds of bad things about the world, so I started paying more attention to what I could do to save power. I began working with my family to turn off lights and reduce our consumption, and although it was difficult at first, it quickly became a habit that we were really fond of. This website is all about saving power and protecting the environment.